Category Archives: New Mexico

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Off Grid Living - How to Install Solar Lighting Systems for an Off Grid Property

Guide to Off Grid Living Launches New Living-Off-Grid.com Website to Complement Its Facebook Groups and Pages Targeting Arizona, California, New Mexico, New York and Texas

The Facebook pages/groups and off grid website provide info on building off grid homes, producing solar power, growing organic gardens, raising livestock and harvesting rainwater

Sacramento, California (November 11, 2019) – The Guide to Off Grid Living announced today that it has launched a new website, Living-Off-Grid.com, to educate people that want to buy a rural piece of property and build an off grid homestead in Arizona, California, New Mexico, New York or Texas.

“Today’s world is full of high-technology gadgets, computers, cell phones, cloud-based services that are all dependent on electricity, but as more than 2 million people found out in California, that can change instantly overnight and without warning,” said Robert Hoskins, Editor, Guide to Off Grid Living. “Our Guide to Off Grid Living is written specifically to help people learn how to survive as long as the sun is shining and the clouds are raining.”

“Even if you live in a suburban or a downtown urban environment, almost anyone can prepare themselves and their family to live in a world without water, gas or electricity from the local utility company, which might vanish overnight, whether it be just for a couple of days or many months at a time,” Hoskins continued. “Imagine what it would be like to live in a house with no utility or grocery bills.”

For shelter, the site provides insightful information that beginners can use to research, plan and build their first off grid home, cabin and/or shed.

Off Grid Living - How to Build a Shed, Cabin, Tipi, Yurt, Earthship, Tent, Wilderness Shelter, Bunker, Tiny House or Steel Building for an Off Grid Property

Off Grid Living – How to Build a Shed, Cabin, Tipi, Yurt, Earthship, Tent, Wilderness Shelter, Bunker, Tiny House or Steel Building for an Off Grid Property


For energy, the site details how to harness solar energy to produce electricity, heat, hot water, lights and ovens for cooking.

Off Grid Living - Installing Solar Power to Produce Off Grid Electricity

Off Grid Living – Installing Solar Power to Produce Off Grid Electricity

For food, the site details how to plant organic raised-bed gardens, how to build aquaponic gardens/fish farms as well as how to raise chickens, ducks, rabbits, bees and other live stock to put food on the table.

Off Grid Living - How to Build a Greenhouse to Support an Off Grid Aquaponic Garden and Fish Farm

Off Grid Living – How to Build a Greenhouse to Support an Off Grid Aquaponic Garden and Fish Farm

For water, the site details how to collect water utilizing rainwater harvesting systems using rooftops and collection barrels and cisterns, how to build a fresh water ponds for raising fish and aquatic plants and how to drill your own well if the water table is close to the surface.

Off Grid Living - How to Install Rain Barrel Cisterns to Collect Rainwater and Store It to Provide Water for an Off Grid Homestead

Off Grid Living – How to Install Rain Barrel Cisterns to Collect Rainwater and Store It to Provide Water for an Off Grid Homestead

 

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Contact:
Robert Hoskins
Living-Off-Grid.com
512-627-6622

How to Raise Crickets for Food for Chickens, Ducks, Fish and Reptiles for Off the Grid Farms

Off Grid Living:  How to Raise Crickets for
Food for Chickens, Ducks, Fish and Reptiles

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Off Grid Living - How to Raise Crickets for Food for Chickens, Ducks, Fish and Reptiles

Off Grid Living – How to Raise Crickets for Food for Chickens, Ducks, Fish and Reptiles

Raising Crickets for Food for Chickens, Ducks, Fish and Reptiles

New Mexico – Breeding crickets is surprisingly easy and a great way to have different sizes on hand for feeding an array of animals. In this blog, we’ll run down the supplies needed and the techniques we use to breed and raise crickets.

How to Get a Cricket Farm Started

First, you’ll need to order in some crickets – you’ll want to order 3/4”, as most adult crickets have already been bred before they are shipped out. This base of crickets will set you up for success and get the life cycle moving quickly.

How to Build Houses for Crickets

Your crickets housing is up to you. Some have great success with 10 and 20-gallon tanks, and others prefer plastic tote bins. Whatever you use is up to you, just make sure the sides are high enough crickets can’t jump out, or provide a well-ventilated top.

Set up the 3/4” crickets as you would any other crickets – egg crate for climbing and hiding, then a food and water source. Josh’s Frogs cricket food and Insect watering gel is the easiest way to go as these items wont spoil like fresh vegetables will.

You’ll want to maintain crickets at a temperature of 85-89 degrees Fahrenheit with low humidity. This can easily be achieved with a low-watt light suspended above your cricket housing.

How to Know If Crickets Are Laying Eggs

After crickets are mature, in generally 1-2 weeks, you’ll hear plenty of chirping. This is an indication your crickets are ready to breed and it’s time to provide them with a place to lay their eggs.

At Josh’s Frogs, we use sandwich containers containing 2 ½ cups of vermiculite and ¾ cups water. Any shallow container will work, so long as it can hold the vermiculite and water. Using a container that you can pop a top onto is ideal.

Place the egg laying container on top of a piece of egg crate in your crickets enclosure, then use a smaller piece of egg crate to make a ramp up to to the container. Leave the container in place for a couple days to give your crickets plenty of time to lay their eggs. Then remove it for incubation.

How to Incubate Cricket Eggs

Cover half of the egg container’s top with paper towel to catch condensation, then put on the top. Incubate the egg laying bin at 89F for 8-10 days. We’ve modified freezers as incubators at Josh’s Frogs, or you can purchase an Exo-Terra Incubator for easy use.

What to Do When Baby Crickets Are Hatched

After the pinhead crickets hatch, place the bin in a container the pinheads cannot escape from and provide them with a bit of egg crate to act as a ramp.

You can feed out the pinheads to your animals, or raise them up to a larger size before feeding. Younger crickets require a higher level of humidity than older crickets.

Source: http://www.joshsfrogs.com/catalog/blog/2015/03/how-to-breed-crickets/

Want to Learn More? Join our Off Grid Discussion Group on Facebook!

  1. To learn more and discuss off grid topics, please join our free Facebook group at:
    Off Grid Living: Prepping to Live Off the Grid
  2. Or, read more topics in our “Guide to Off Grid Living” at:
    https://LivingOffGrid.Home.Blog/Guide-to-Off-Grid-Living/

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#HowTo #Raise #Crickets #Pinheads #Eggs #Feed #Chicken #Ducks #Fish #Reptiles #Food #Houses #Farms #Bins #Incubator #EggCrates #Vermiculite #Plastic #Tote #OffGridLiving #LivingOffGride #Guide

The Benefits of Installing Electric Radiant Heating Mats Under Carpet and Flooring

Off Grid Living – The Benefits of Installing
Electric Radiant Heating Mats Under Carpet and Flooring

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Off Grid Living - How to Install Electric Radiant Heating Mats for Under Carpet and Flooring

Off Grid Living – How to Install Electric Radiant Heating Mats for Under Carpet and Flooring

The Benefits of Installing Electric Radiant Heating Mats for Under Carpet

New Mexico – What is electric radiant floor heating? Radiant heated floors have been around since the Roman Empire in one form or another. In the United States, electric floor heating has become a popular trend for both new and retrofit projects. Nevertheless, there’s still a learning curve among many homeowners.

  • How do heated floors work?
  • What are the pros and cons of radiant heating?
  • How do you know if in-floor heating is right for you?
  • How does Radiant Floor Heating Work?
  • How warm do heated floors get?

Traditional heating systems heat the air, which then warms up the people in the room. Radiant heating systems work by directly warming the people and objects in a room.

The floor temperature can be set as high as 104° F,  but users will typically set it to a more comfortable range of between 80° F and 85° F and control it from a thermostat from there.

This type of heating often feels like the warmth of the sun, because radiant heat warms via heat radiation. This allows people to feel warm even when the ambient (air) temperature in the room is actually cooler.

It’s the same concept as standing in direct sunlight vs. standing in the shade.

Source: https://www.warmlyyours.com/en-US/posts/9-pros-and-cons-of-heated-floors

Want to Learn More? Join our Off Grid Discussion Group on Facebook!

  1. To learn more and discuss off grid topics, please join our free Facebook group at:
    Off Grid Living: Prepping to Live Off the Grid
  2. Or, read more topics in our “Guide to Off Grid Living” at:
    https://LivingOffGrid.Home.Blog/Guide-to-Off-Grid-Living/

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#HowTo #Install #Radiant #Heating #Mats #Carpet #Flooring #HeatingMat #HeatedCarpet #ElectricRadiantHeatingMats #RadiantHeatedFlooring #OffGridSheds #OffGridCabins #OffGridHomes #LogCabins #MountainCabins #OffGridLiving #LivingOffGrid

How to Build an Outdoor Solar Heated Shower for Your Off Grid Cabin

Off Grid Living – How to Build an Outdoor
Solar Heated Shower for Your Off Grid Cabin

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Off Grid Living - How to Build an Outdoor Shower for Your Off Grid Cabin

Off Grid Living – How to Build an Outdoor Solar Heated Shower for Your Off Grid Cabin

How to Build an Outdoor Solar Heated Shower for Your Off Grid Cabin

New Mexico – Outdoor showers are a great way to get clean outdoors, a smart way to provide an auxiliary shower for guests during a crowded weekend and a convenient place to clean up sandy feet or after messy yard work. But the question is: What type of outdoor shower? A fully plumbed shower can be complicated. A solar powered shower, on the other hand, is appealing in its simplicity.

But you can still enjoy a warm – and fashionably green – shower under a blue sky by making a few tweaks to the traditional design. In this shower plan, the tank is replaced with a homemade solar coil connected to a garden hose, with both cold and hot supply lines. The end result is an open-topped, efficient solar shower with plenty of pressure and a quick recharge time, perfect for a quick rinse after yard work or before going for a dip in the hot tub or a steam in the sauna.

Source: https://cabinlife.com/articles/article/how-to-build-enjoy-an-outdoor-solar-shower

Please join our Off Grid Living Discussion Group on Facebook

  1. To learn more and discuss off grid topics, please join our free Facebook group at: Off Grid Living: Prepping to Live Off the Grid
  2. Or, read more topics in our “Guide to Off Grid Living” => https://livingoffgrid.home.blog/guide-to-off-grid-living/

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#Bathroom #Cabins #Corrugated #Metal #Design #Ideas #Homes #NewMexicos #News #OffGridLiving #LivingOffGrid #Outdoor #Sheds #Showers #Solar #HotWater #Heaters #Stone #UnitedStates #Water

How to Heat Water with Solar Hot Water Heaters and Stove Water Heating Jackets

The Benefits of Using Passive Solar Heating and Wood Stove Water Heating Jackets to Heat Water for an Off Grid Shed, Cabin or Home

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How to Use Off Grid Solar Collectors to Product Free Hot Water

How to Use Passive Solar Collectors to Product Free Hot Water for Off Grid Properties

Various Types of Solar Hot Water Heaters to Heat Water for Off Grid Homes

United States – There are many options for solar water heaters that range from inexpensive home-made jobs to high-end state of the art commercial models.

If you switch to a solar water heating system, your use of electricity or propane will drop significantly; that number will approach zero rapidly if your backup heating system is a wood stove or firebox with a water jacket rather than occasional use utility electricity.

The home-made options are typically not suited for use during times of the year when temperatures dip below freezing. You would need to winterized them before any threat of fall or winter weather arrives.  There are probably hundreds of variations that may be found on the internet. They range from coils of black plastic pipe on one’s roof to coils of copper inside a box with outer glass cover (creating a greenhouse effect).

Some of these utilize a DC electric circulating pump. It pushes the heated water into a storage tank and bring fresh cool water into the heater.  This pump may be activated by a switch that is temperature controlled. But some are directly connected to a solar panel and only run when the sun is shining (precisely the same times that the water is being heated and needs to be circulated).

Evacuated Tube Solar Hot Water Heaters

Evacuated tube models are composed of numerous rows of glass tubes with another smaller tube inside each of the larger tubes.  A vacuum is pulled between each of the two tubes which greatly lessens the loss of heat to outside weather.  Water or an antifreeze solution is then circulated through the inner tubes.

The advantages of evacuated tubes lie in greater efficiency and less heat lost.  So they work quite well even during surprisingly cool temperatures.  However they are somewhat fragile and may not be as suited to areas with a great amount of snow and ice due to the potential for breakage from buildup.

Flat Panel Solar Hot Water Heaters

These heaters look much like solar electric panels but contain tiny water passages which enable a great amount of surface area to come in contact with the heat from the sun.  While not as efficient as evacuated tubes, flat panels still work very well and are certainly more rugged when faced with heavy snow and icy conditions.

Typically an antifreeze solution is circulated through the tubes or panels and the hot fluid is routed inside to a heat exchanger which transfers the heat of the fluid to the home’s hot water.  There are some varieties of evacuated tube heaters that are called drain down systems, which do not require the use of antifreeze because the water drains away from exposed areas once the water cools off.

Thermo-Siphon Solar Hot Water Heaters

It is possible to set up a solar water heating system that doesn’t require an electric circulating pump.  This would be called a thermo-siphon system, operating on the principle that heat rises.

This was the type of system we planned to install for our cabin in the summertime.  The disadvantages would be the amount of work involved in installation, significant cost of commercial systems, and reliance on an electric circulating pump (unless it is set up as a thermo-siphon system).

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Solar Powered Lighting Systems for Off Grid Cabins and Sheds

Off Grid Living: Solar Powered Lighting
Systems for Off Grid Cabins and Sheds

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Solar Powered Lighting Systems for Off Grid Cabins and Sheds

Solar Powered Lighting Systems for Off Grid Cabins and Sheds

How to Install Off Grid Solar-Powered Lights

One of the first things you’ll learn when camping or off grid living is that without electricity, it gets dark quickly.

But solar power is a great way to provide a wide variety of lighting and security systems that will let see what is making that big bumping sound in the backyard at 2:00 am in the morning.

How Off Grid Solar Lights Work

Solar spotlights are powered by photovoltaic cells, which convert sunlight to electricity on the atomic level. Each cell contains a thin, flat semiconductor panel with a positive charge on one side and negative on the other. Sunlight causes the semiconductor’s atoms to blow apart, releasing electrons; the electrons are recaptured as electric current between the positive and negative charges. The electricity then travels through a cable to power the spotlight. Solar energy is also stored in the interior battery for use at night or on cloudy days.

Uses for Off Grid Solar Security Lights

Solar spotlights are particularly useful in illuminating outdoor spaces where traditional extension cords or bundles of wiring aren’t practical, such as in formal gardens, large open lawns or residential entrances. Newer models offer light emitting diodes (LEDs), which illuminate more effectively and efficiently than old-fashioned incandescent bulbs. Whether you choose to light a wide area from above or train the beam from ground level on an individual object, such as garden statuary, you can easily install individual spotlights without hiring a professional contractor.

Best Places to Install Off Grid Solar Lights

The foremost concern with installing solar spotlights is ensuring that enough sunlight reaches the photovoltaic cell. Spotlights today usually feature a long power cable between the cell and the actual light, so you can place the cell in a sunny spot that receives about eight hours of light a day, and position the spotlight where you want it.

For ground-level lighting, stake the cell in the ground so the cell faces the brightest sun, and then stake the light in the ground a few feet away from the object you wish to illuminate. Train the beam upward to focus on the object.

Mounting solar spotlights over entrances, garage doors or decks involves screwing the light’s baseplate into the vertical wall or post over the area you want to brighten, then angling the light’s beam downwards. With these types, the solar cell may be attached to the light’s hood or via a power cable; in both cases, the cell still needs to receive sufficient sunlight for operation.

Source: https://homeguides.sfgate.com/install-solarpowered-spotlights-79769.html

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 Read more about Solar Powered Lighting for Off Grid Homes:

How to Select a Wood Stove Based on the Size of Your Off Grid Cabin

The 6 Essential Considerations for Buying the Right-Sized
Wood Burning Stove for Your Off Grid Shed, Cabin or Home

By 30X40 Design Workshop

The video above presents a comprehensive buying guide for wood stoves – a primer on exactly what you’ll need to know before buying a wood stove for your off grid shed, cabin, container home, earthship, steel building, tent, tiny house, yurt and/or any other type of off home.

Top Stove Buying Decision Include:

  • Steel vs. Cast Iron Cost
  • Stove Output (BTU vs. Size)
  • Firebox size
  • Efficiency Catalytic vs. Non-Catalytic
  • Flue (Interior and Exterior)
  • Hearth Protection
  • Wood Storage Ash Pan
  • Aesthetics Maintenance

Checklist of Items to Consider when Buying a Wood Stove:

It may be summer now, but winter is coming and its going to be a cold one. Here are some simple considerations to think about when buying the right wood stove for your shed, cabin or other type of off grid home.

1. Decide Between a Fireplace and a Wood Burning Stove

There are two main types of wood stoves.  A fireplace, which is usually imbedded into a wall and a free standing stove, which sits in an open air space somewhere in a room. Fireplaces are usually open and waste a lot of energy and are prone to fires outside the fireplace as popping wood can send sparks flying out onto the room’s floor.

Free standing stoves are usually better because they can control the burn rate of your wood. They are much safer because they keep the fire enclosed inside a door. And, they radiant heat on a 360 degree basis, which is really important in very cold climates. When combined with masonry stone walls, they will heat up stone that will do a great job of efficiently heating up your home and keeping it toasty warm.

2. How Large Should Your Heat Source Be?

Picking the right sized wood stove for your living space is critical. A number of wood stoves for sale come with huge fireboxes, 3, 4, and sometimes even 5 cubic feet. But with modern insulation and the supplementary heat that most houses have now, these are usually overkill. A home between 2,000 and 3,000 square feet usually calls for a wood stove with a firebox between 2 and 2.5 cubic feet. If you’re heating a smaller space, like a garage or a cabin, you might want to try looking for even smaller wood burning stoves – 1 to 1.5 cubic feet.

3. Efficiency, Efficiency, Efficiency – Meeting EPA Standards

Higher efficiency means less money spent on wood, less work chopping and hauling wood, and a product that is better for the environment. Older wood stoves tend to be inefficient and waste wood and many companies don’t publish their efficiencies as a result. Look for wood stoves for sale that have EPA listed efficiencies of 70% or above to get the most bang for your buck. Some new stoves, like MF Fire’s Catalyst, also come with smart thermostat technology that helps to cut down on overheating, giving a real world efficiency boost of 20 to 25%. Buying a wood stove from MF Fire means less chopping, less stacking, and fewer trips to the wood pile during winter storms.

4. Clean Air and the New EPA Regulations

Gone are the days of smoke belching potbelly stoves. New clean air standards have set a high bar, restricting wood stove smoke emissions to only 2.0 grams/hour by January 2020, making nearly 85% of currently available wood stove illegal to sell. But some manufacturers are still trying to squeeze out their old units before the deadline. To get the cleanest and most efficient burn, look for wood burning stoves for sale with EPA listed emissions below 2.0 g/hr.

5. Catalytic or Non-Catalytic Fireboxes

When they were first introduced in the 80’s catalytic stoves, or wood burning stoves that use a catalytic combustor to reduce emissions, got a bad reputation. These initial poorly designed wood burning stoves were impossible to get started and used catalytic combustors that fouled and went bad after only a few seasons. New catalytic stoves don’t have those problems.

Most catalytic wood stoves for sale today are significantly cleaner and more efficient than their non-catalytic counterparts and those catalytic combustors can last for 10 years or more. When they do need to be replaced, the replacements generally cost less than $100. Some catalytic stoves can be harder to start, but buying a wood stove with new smart stove technology like automatic igniters or MF Fire’s TurboStart technology makes them easier to start than ever.

6. Smart Wood Burning Stoves

Technology is in everything nowadays: phones, cars, even refrigerators. Modern wood stoves are no exception. Some new wood stoves include features that make it easier to start, remotely control your burn, and even to protect your family from chimney fires. Buying a wood stove with these modern features help those of us who are getting up in years to do a little less work and have a lot more peace of mind. While smart wood stoves frequently cost a bit more, buying a wood stove with the added features are usually more than worth it.

7. Gathering and Stacking Wood

Acquiring, stacking and moving wood will become a part of your life. I personally embrace these as part of my choice to live in a cold climate, and I feel like the added effort is good for both myself and the environment — but it’s certainly not for everyone.

Source: https://mffire.com/ 

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